The Outside Blog

Adventure : Travel

Cycle Touring Exclusive: Brooks Limited Edition B17 Saddle

World Traveller 2102c - 300dpi
Brooks England has been crafting leather bicycles saddles since 1866 for Olympians and long-distance cycle tourists alike. This year, cyclists participating in the inaugural WCR Grand Tour, a competitive circumnavigation of Earth by bicycle and possibly the ultimate highspeed tour, are on Brooks saddles.

It' doesn't matter if you're putting in a globe's worth of mileage this season. If you love to ride, delight in fine craftsmanship, and want a saddle that will become yours and yours alone over time, conforming to you like a favorite pair of boots, navigate over to Brooks website or to a Brooks Dealer of Excellence ASAP. You'll only get your butt on Brooks' newest ride, its B17 Select World Traveller 2012 Limited Edition Saddle, if you're quick. The company announced the saddle today, and its only making 2,012 of them.

Why is the B17 special? Its leather surface is decorated with restyled art by Frank Patterson, the guy who illustrated Brooks catalogues in the 1920s. The saddle is made with Brooks' select organic leather top fixed to a chromed copper steel frame and finished with hand-hammered copper rivets—classic, timeless and collectible Brooks quality, design and materials. Available now, $325,

—Berne Broudy

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Before They're Gone: Exploring America's Most Threatened National Parks

GB1-146 Us in Johns Hopkins Inlet, Glacier BayDodging grizzlies and calving glaciers in John Hopkins Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park 

Yesterday I caught up with Michael Lanza, author of the season’s must-read new memoir about bringing up adventure kids in the age of climate change: Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks

Lanza is a longtime editor at Backpacker magazine, creator of The Big Outside blog, and a devoted outdoor dad who’s logged hundreds of trail miles with his two young kids. Back in 2009, dismayed by scientists’ dire predictions that Glacier National Park’s namesake ice could melt by 2020, he hatched a plan to visit the 10 national parks most threatened by climate change.

But this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill family drive-by. He and his wife, Penny, and their kids ranged from Alaska to the Everglades, Rocky Mountains National Park to Joshua Tree, venturing deep into the backcountry on foot or kayak for days at time. To say that Lanza’s offspring, seven-year-old daughter Alex and nine-year-old son Nate, are hardy adventure kids would be selling them way short: Those two paddled through days of driving rain and dodged grizzlies in Glacier Bay, skirted treacherous ice-slicked trails in the Grand Canyon, and spent what amounted to weeks on end in the company of their parents, without electronic diversions. Hard core.

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The World’s Best (Jogging) Stroller, Period


Before our first daughter was born, I obsessed over what kind of stroller to buy. I coveted the fancy designer Bugaboo with a quilted bassinet attachment for strolling around town during naptime. (I found a used Frog on eBay.) I wanted a knobby-tired jogging stroller for getting back in shape. (A friend lent me hers.) I needed a folding infant car seat stroller for getting through airports without losing my mind. And a cheap umbrella stroller for when she got bigger. Soon we had more strollers in our garage than bikes and cars combined.

What a waste. It turns out I really only needed one: the BOB Revolution SE.

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How to Camp in Style With Kids This Summer

Shutterstock_39428983Trailer bliss in the big empty. Photo: Pablo H Caridad/Shutterstock

Earlier this month we drove our vintage Airstream to Marfa, Texas, for its maiden voyage. We knew zilch about driving or camping with a travel trailer before we left, so it was trial-by-fire from the get-go. Despite a few train wrecks along the way, we survived and learned some things for next time—a good thing, because now that we know how much fun Airstream camping can be, there will most definitely be a next time (Chaco Canyon, Crested Butte!). Whether you're plotting an epic family road trip or just want to elevate your usual camping experience this summer, follow these tips for a hassle-free adventure with travel trailer in tow. If you plan it right, you won't have to sacrifice wild places and open spaces for comfort. 

1. Make sure your trailer is road-ready. Just because you’ve given your vintage Airstream a hip interior renovation with robin’s egg-blue cushions and eco-friendly cork floors doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ready to be hauled on the interstate at 70 mph. Check your brake lights, your latches, your tires, your windows, your rusty AM radio antenna. Anything old or loose will break or fall off.

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Rolling Into Summer, Specter of Wildfires, Drought, Loom Large

Wildfire via Shutterstock  Photo by Jon Beard

This summer's wildfire season is already well underway, with tragic repercussions. The Lower North Fork Fire in Colorado last month claimed three lives and many homes. It prompted Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to put a moratorium on prescribed burns on state land and propose putting fire-fighting and controlled-burn responsibilities in the state's Department of Public Safety (it currently falls under multiple groups) to streamline emergency response procedures. 

Officials in Florida and Texas, which lost up to a half billion trees in last summer's drought, are preparing for a fiery summer. Trails and campgrounds in Davy Crockett National Forest in East Texas are closed while the Forest Service assesses the danger.

Across the country, wildlife is also feeling the effects of the dry climate.

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